Vision Cellars

Pairing Diverse Foods with Pinot Noir. Mac McDonald of Vision Cellars Interview: Part Five

This the fifth part of my video interview with Mac McDonald of Vision Cellars.  In this segment, Mac McDonald speaks about wine and food pairing.  He discusses the incredible diversity of food that can pair with his Pinot Noirs, including some that he would never have expected.

Please enjoy this four minute video or read the transcript underneath it. 

This is Episode #59 of Understanding Wine with Austin Beeman.

Mac McDonald:

Well, what we do is, we don't make a lot of changes in the vineyard, especially the quality of the vineyard. When you taste Vision Cellar's Pinot Noir, we make seven of them, and we don't change anything in that in the sense that, we don't take a little bit of this vineyard to add to this vineyard to make that better. We want to do the expression of soil from that particular location. And so, we try to get these wines in the middle of the road so that we don't have a problem with the food pairing of it.

And many times, I've done a lot of dinners throughout the United States, and I've noticed that a lot of chefs, they pair different things with our wine. Last night, we were at a country club, and they actually had done some type of custard with one of our Pinot Noirs. And I looked at it at first, I thought, "Oh, I'm not sure about this." But, what was the kicker on it, they had a little bacon on the side of it, and it was a really great pairing. And then, I've had occasion where I never would've done this, by the way, but it's a constant thing that I do now.

I was at a restaurant at another country club and they served oysters on the half-shell with one of my Pinot Noirs, which is a little bit robust Pinot Noir, and I thought, "Oh, whoa. What are you guys thinking about here?" One of the best pairings that I had, as far as with oysters. So Miss Lil and I will often now go out and order a dozen of those small, little oysters and have a bottle of Pinot Noir.

So Vision Cellar's Pinot Noirs, we craft those whether you're doing grilled vegetables, whether you're doing grilled chicken, grilled beef, we have one of those wines in our bag that will fit that occasion, whether it's spicy or not. Because a lot of folks will call me up and say, "Mac, I'm having duck," for an example, and I'll say, "Well, how are you preparing it?" If they're from a certain area, like Texas for example, one of the first questions is what part of Texas do you live in? Because I know if you live in the northern part around Dallas or that area, you know you're not going to have it spicy. If you're living down in San Antonio area or Austin area, you may be a little bit more spicy with your food.

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So I may recommend a different one of my Pinot Noir, and so I think we want to make them all to go across the board with food, whether you're having sushi or whatever you're having. But then, if you get down to maybe touching with different spices, I may recommend something different. But, I think all of us in the Pinot producers, we're conscientious that we want all these Pinot Noirs to be able to fit with all types of food, and I think we've accomplished that very well.


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What Does Wine Mean to You? Mac McDonald of Vision Cellars Interview: Part Four

This the fourth part of my video interview with Mac McDonald of Vision Cellars.  In this segment, Mac McDonald answers the question that I ask every winemaker - What Does Wine Mean to You?

Please enjoy this three minute video or read the transcript underneath it. 

This is Episode #58 of Understanding Wine with Austin Beeman.

Winemaker Mac McDonald of Vision Cellars answers Austin Beeman's signature wine question. What does wine mean to you? www.austinbeeman.com

Mac McDonald:

What does wine mean to me? Wine means to me friendship, enjoyment, socialization. It means a lot to me, and the reason that I say that is because I've met so many wonderful folks through this wine business and having a glass of wine. I just think that folks who drink wine, they're very interesting individuals because you have something in common right away, you can talk to them about it. It don't matter if you don't even like the variety of wine. You may like Pinot Noir. You may like cabs. You may like Zin. Whatever it is, you got something in common. I find the reason that I say that socialization, friendship thing, over the years that I've been traveling with Miss Lil around the country doing wine events, wine tasting, I've met so many folks.


I probably have, come to visit our winery or visit our vineyard every year, probably have over 1,000 people just stop by to see me that I met from all over the United States, and I think that that felt really good that I meet these folks and give them my card and says, "Come out to visit us. We'll make you lunch or something," and they show up. That's a good feeling because I wouldn't have never met the folks. The big socialization, the big sharing of knowledge, from the knowledge that I get from folks like yourself, doing wine tasting events, and I'm even going to do a wine tasting maybe here later on today. You come in and meet these folks and they come out and see you, or when I come back here to Ohio, I go to these events. I had a big event every night I've been here. I've been here four nights, and it's somewhat like an old family reunion meeting. They come back time and time to see you, and you may not remember all of their names, but they remember who you are, and you just get to see them and you talk to them.

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I don't know what I'd do to trade that socialization off for someone else, and let's face it. I enjoy wine.


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